“What I’ve Learned This Year”
Mr. McClung really gives a new teacher and future teachers great advice. I am so glad that he shared his personal experience of being a teacher for the first time. I only have two years left and I pray that I am in his shoes one day but at least will have his advice and words of encouragement with me.
Mr. McClung begins by talking about “How to Read the Crowd.” I can already just within this short time period of college see where I can turn my future career into an “All About Me as the Teacher” mindset. He talks about how that mindset takes away from the students and is not a good way to start off your teaching career. Yes, you will have others watching you and critiquing your work as a brand new teacher but your focus must stay on the students because they are the ones that are being greatly affected by your actions.
He then goes on to talk about “Be Flexible.” I am so amazed at the teachers at my son’s school. They all live by those words in their classrooms. My son’s current teacher told me that being flexible is the only way to survive, otherwise you will drive yourself crazy trying to stay on a strict schedule and do everything perfectly. They are children and things are going to happen and other events are part of the day in the classroom. So her advice to me was “Go with the flow, you will eventually get everything in that you need too.” I believe that is what Mr. McClung learned his first year too. I think his paragraph “Be Reasonable” goes with this too.
Next is “Communicate.” I cannot even begin to stress how important communication is. I worked for many years in an environment that requires constant communication with not only other employees but customers too. It makes the biggest difference to not only lean on one another for support and to pass on advice or ideas but it makes the job so much easier. Also talking to your students is very important, that is one of the most important ways to take care of your students. Communication is one of the biggest keys to success. I believe this also falls in line with Mr. Clung's paragraph about “Listen to Your Students.”
One of the most important points in today’s world is “Don’t Be Afraid of Technology.” This is so important because students are leaving teachers behind in this aspect. The students of today will have jobs that involve technology or be all about technology by the time they enter the work force. How can educators not help these students be prepared for this life. Yes, technology is intimidating but if you just try it, the things you learn and begin to use you will love and become a huge part of your life. You will also be able to help your students and they will be better prepared for their future.
Last but not least, “Lastly....Never Stop Learning.” The title says everything to me. I am 32 years old and returning to college to finish my degree I started many years ago. I believe though that I am learning more now than I would have learned 10 plus years ago. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to return to school and finish my education but I hope that once I receive that diploma that, that is not the end of my education. I cannot wait to get in a school and learn from other teachers that have been teaching for years. I look forward to learning from my students too. I know my son who is in first grade now has come home all year long and taught me things that I did not know. So to be able to continue to learn whether it is me sitting in a classroom with an instructor or whether I am the instructor I hope to learn and grow in any way I can. I agree with Mr. McClung, “we owe it to our students”.